Anonymous said: I would love to ascend to full lich status, but I do most of my magic with incantations. Will I still be able to use incantations without lips or a tongue?
As I’m sure you’re aware, it’s not enough to be able to simply cast spells. Many an ambitious necromancer has been consumed by the errant powers of a dweomer or curse beyond his control after flubbing a syllable of an otherwise perfectly simple chant. Things only get more difficult when you’re bargaining with creatures of the hellplane in their guttural nethertongue.1
As a result of this necessary talent with the fast-spoken utterances of the crypt, many necromancers (and even liches) enjoy healthy careers as rappers in their downtime. After all, Tupac has continued to hold concerts long after his death. Of course his agent claims it’s a series of complex holograms, but the telltale blue-white sheen of the shade is about him. His essence has yet to depart this plane.
Still, not all liches can be as talented as Tupac; we’re not all going to be shackling our ethereal spirit forms to the earth forever. You’ll have to settle for some more mundane advice. It’s not enough that you learn your incantations, you’ve got to be able to spit necromantic spells such swiftness and confidence that you don’t even need flesh and blood to do it. The most common ways of doing this are by either:
- Using flesh transplanted from zombies/ghouls and planted in your own mouth, reanimated and under the control of your necromantic power.
- The implementation of a “ghost voice,” the use of magics that allow the lich to shape sounds using force of will alone. This is trickier and requires more conversation.
As you might guess, there are still cantrips that can only be cast with the aid of a (wretched) living mouth. It is for this purpose that many liches employ a thrall to act as a conduit for their dark magics. We would suggest you cultivate such an agent while you have the power of speech, the better to bind him to your will.
1. Did you know that, to the untrained ear, the abyssal word for “soul” that is functionally indistinguishable from the abyssal word for “heap of anonymous viscera?” Apparently, it’s a tonal language.
Anonymous said: Ive been a lich for many years now and a necromancer for longer than that. Nowadays I can barely leave my house without the neighbours getting aggressive. Almost all of my face has rotten away and the meat that's still there hurts when I get sunshine or fresh air in it. Can you recommend a skin care regimen for an old necromancer?
Don’t be too surprised. You are, after all, mostly dead. The subtle magicks that animate your husk cannot preserve your appearance. Consider the waste if every necromancer were to spend their power on dweomers and glamours, o enchant those they meet. There’s already little enough arcane power to go round, best not waste it on frivolous spellcasting.
Don’t worry, though. There are mundane means by which your flesh may be preserved. Skin may be tanned into a fine leather, to be worn over the necromancer’s exposed skull as a kind of fashionable cowl. Thanks to my extensive experience in the field, I was fortunate enough to be asked to assist on both of the last presidential campaigns.1
Fig. 1: Long live the Obamamancer.
The biggest issue you’ll encounter is that there is no standard range of beauty products made for the liche concerned about the long term effects of undeath on the once-mortal visage. You’ll need bespoke tailoring for your new skin, an experienced and patient hand.
Ideally, you’ll need to consult someone with extensive experience in the field. Someone with the right skills and qualifications, as well as access to a number of thaumaturgic compounds and crèmes, can help you to blend in with the rest of the human cattle for another few decades, if not centuries.
If you’re looking for such a craftsman, look no further… I am a well-respected taxidermatologist.
1. This is an important task; voters would respond poorly to the realisation that both parties have put forward necromancers as presidential candidates, though every president in the last hundred years has, of course, been at least a warlock.
Anonymous said: Hello I was wondering is there some kind of necromancer's meetings where you can make new necromancer friends?
There are no meeting for necromancers. As a rule, they fear that sort of organisation. For some things, you’ll find that the mortal solution is surprisingly effective once you know where to look. The Yelp reviews of local graveyards and mortuaries should provide just about everything you need to start meeting necromancers in your area.
Naturally, you’ll find the biggest complaint most accomplished necromancers have with any burial ground is that it’s already inhabited by too many lower-ranking undead:
Above: A review of a local graveyard written by a popular local necromancer.
Of course, this introduces the issue of undead gentrification. Portal tombs and dolmens acquire a kind of cultural caché out of all proportion with their use. I mean, think about it, you might be at the most fashionable place in town, but if you’re spending all your time at the Ossuary, all you’re raising is skellingtons. They’re pretty cool and all, but nobody wants to be stuck with them all the time.
Anyway, the lesser orders of undead congregate around those places as soon as it’s known that they’re in vogue. Before you know it, there are vampires there, bleating about being the aristocracy of the night, and splashing their wine glasses full of blood all over your nice robes. Nothing gets those blood stains out.
Above: Some sample reviews of other local burial grounds by more necromancers.
If you’d rather meet necromancers in your area through the comfort of your own home, there’s always NecrOKcupid, as described in a previous post. Alternatively, there’s still plenty of time for you to join MySpace. The MySpace necromantic community has been seeing a huge upswing in the last few months. Now, I know what you’re thinking, MySpace has been dead for years…
Anonymous said: My master tells me you are not necromancers, he is sickened by the thought of deluded and depraved individuals who advertise their so called 'Liche' status to gain the respect and adoration of their pathetic followers. He says a true necromancer would never reveal himself to the masses, and that you and your kind will get what is coming to you.
Once every week or so, I get a message like this from the cloistered high-society of the nigromancers. It’s embarrassing.
I will tell you the same thing now as I’ve told you every other time. I’m not like you; I didn’t build a black library using daddy’s money and raise the bodies donated to me by wealthy benefactors. I didn’t have the gold to construct a vaned tower to harness the stygian currents of magic. I learned my sorcery on the streets, in the necropolis. Down there, it’s kill or be killed, raise or be raised. I’m proud of my roots, and you dusty old fuckers will never know what that means.
Fig 1. Pictured above, the skellington who asked this question. Not pictured, inferior necromancer master.
Do I advertise my liche status for the “respect and adoration” of “pathetic followers?” Absolutely, having a hearty band of followers means never having to ask where the next corpse is coming from. It alleviates so much of the strain of the modern necromancer’s unlife. You’d know all of this if you were living in the same worlds as the rest of us.
Given your reference to your “master,” I take it you’re writing on behalf of some other thaumaturge. Sounds like a powerful necromancer indeed if he’s hiding behind one of his own minions… Look, if you want to throw in with a real liche, just give me a shout and we’ll work something out. I don’t offer any pay, and I may dispell the magics that hold you together at a whim, but at least you’d be in better company.
I’m not afraid of any confrontation with your existing master, we’ll disenchant his phylactery and banish the soul that animates his husk to the netherplane where it belongs.
As to the insinuation that my “kind will get what’s coming to us…” Liche please, I didn’t choose the liche unlife, the liche unlife chose me. This isn’t a limp, it’s my crypt walk.
Anonymous said: I like big butts and cannot lie, all you other brothers can't deny, that when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist and a round thing in your face you get sprung. Why?
While it’s impossible to make an accurate diagnosis from a distance, my initial suspicion is that you are likely the victim of some sort of hex. Typically, the literature suggests that these might be placed on you by either a local witch or by a kind of gypsy shaman (as in the case of the infamous “thinner” curse). Think long and hard on your recent acquaintances. Do any of them fit the bill?
Now, first things first, your predilection for the callipygean is not unique. Indeed, many necromancers hold the same fascination.1 Consider this; the average necromancer spends most of his time with skeletons, skellingtons, ghouls, wights, mummies, vampires, and zombies. While each wonderful in their own ways, these are not creatures renowned for their full figures, so to speak. Moreover, the wraiths and spectres that may immediately have “sprung” to mind are intangible and hardly count.
Is it any surprise that so many necromancers can’t get their mind off the behind? Could it be that you simply refer to the natural necromantic love for butts?
If you are suffering from the callipygean curse, the enormous incantation, the gluteus glamorious, and I’m afraid there is no disenchantment. I wish I could prescribe some counter-spell to you, some cure for this buttocks-based-bewitchment, this seat-sealed sorcery, but it is beyond me. You are damned to be forever lost to the allure of the derriere.
Remember, you’ve bounced back from worse than this. Whenever it gets you down, just remember; baby got back… from the dead!
1. This can be seen in a previous necromancer’s question asking for detail on how best to damn a spirit to forever haunt someone’s butthole.
Anonymous said: Okay. I'm a middle-aged mortal and now know approximately when and how I am going to die. I haven't practiced a whole lot into this necromancy thing but I really really don't want to die. What steps do I take to avoid my fated death, and does it have to involve making a deal with demons?
First things first, congratulations, that is some heavy-duty scrying for a mortal! Few people are up to that level of soothsaying. Of course, it doesn’t really matter, because you’re only a fragile man, exposed to the winds of time, destined to return to the nothingness from which you were birthed. There are no demons you can make a deal with.
Of course, there is a way that you can save yourself from the horrors of mortality. While it’s unlikely that you could ever become a necromancer in the short span available to you, you can enter into a meaningful relationship with an established necromancer who could help keep you from final death. All you need to do is find a local necromancer!
Now, let’s not make any mistakes, many mortals fear they have little to offer the competent liche. After all, he’s already well-established, ageless, and usually wealthy thanks to very long term, low risk investment strategies. Fortunately, you have two things a liche requires. First, you are in possession of a reasonably robust soul. While a liche has little interest in your soul itself, stealing souls from the wheel of fate angers the norns. A capable necromancer may barter this soul for favours from the fates, guaranteeing the fate of Yggdrasil for personal gain.
The other thing you have to offer a liche is your body!1 Many liches’ bodies are stretched thin by the magics that sustain them; they cannot be kept entirely free of the ravages of time. As such, they require a human agent who is not quite so gaunt/thin/skeletal/cadaverous to perform simple acts like:
- Linger in graveyards to acquire new zombies
- Make court appearances on his behalf
- Join the local police and report on their knowledge of nearby sorcerers
- Produce a ready supply of blood for use in rituals
- Go to Tesco to acquire mundane accoutrements for working of magicks
Of course, once you do die, the necromancer will hold up their end of the bargain, raising you from the dead. How much agency you will retain will be a question of the skill, competency, and generosity of the necromancer you work with.
Either way, you can look for a partner in your necromancer/thrall relationship on NecrOKCupid.
1. Nothing untoward, you understand. Many necromancers occasionally require a vessel into which they can ferry otherworldly entities that he might trap or question them. You will experience some moderate to intense soul burn during the process.
Anonymous said: I'm fed up with dieting and going to the gym, can necromancy help me loose weight?
There are a few different options available to those of you who want to lose weight the necromantic way, and every single one of them has long term health benefits that should ensure the choice is easy to make.
Remember, when you’re trying to lose weight, going to the gym is a terrible idea. You’re only going to build heaps of disgusting musculature. Can you imagine anything so distasteful?
Given how obsessed modern youth culture is with its soft drinks, we are proud to be able to announce that NecromAnswers fully endorses the use of specialised, death-enhanced analeptics. These tonics are guaranteed to bring you a swift, painless death, one from which you can be awakened without the cumbersome weight of mortality. Did you know the human soul weighs 21 grams? You’re losing weight already!
It doesn’t matter what kind of condition you’re in, either. To the die-hard* liche, even the thinnest of mortals looks frighteningly overweight. How you manage to flounce about wearing all that meat is entirely beyond us. Slough it all off. Unburden yourself. Deep inside every fat person is a beautiful skeleton just waiting to get out.
So go on, embrace your own slow death and decay, your own sense of thanatos. As unpopular as it is, we’re proud to be a pro-thana blog.
*Read: Die never
Anonymous said: I was visiting a liche colleague recently when he offered me a dirge to relax with. Having never really partaken in dirges I was unfamiliar with their hypnotic and mind-altering properties. Now I crave some good dirges on the weekends and get nervous when I cannot get a good sombre melancholia going. I'm worried about getting into heavier stuff as I've been told the Latin variety are merely the gateway dirges. How can I unenchant myself with such things?
I think I speak for all accomplished liches when I say that there are very few of us who don’t go through a dirge phase. It’s nothing to worry about, as long as you don’t let it get out of control. If you do, the dirge will take over your unlife.
Back when I was a younger necromancer, a dirge addiction would set you back a princely sum. Zombies can’t breathe with enough force to sing or play an instrument, and what else can you use? Mummies? Skeletons? No, you’d need to find yourself some living musicians, with lungs and everything. That sort of a setup is always going to cost you, and only more so when they realise your a dread lord of the arcane.
Before you know it, you’re out on the streets hawking relics to pay your in-house orchestra, and by then it’s too late.
Of course, these days a dirge addiction can be managed with something as simple as an iPod. If you find yourself in need of another hit of sweet, sweet dirge, you need only press the play button and return to the crypt.
This post brought to you by Puregroan’s Totally Addicted to Dirge [Wow woah ho].
Anonymous said: I keep having problems with specific undead. I'll try to raise a zombie, and get a skeleton warrior. I'll attempt a blood curse to cause vampirism, and suddenly I have a powerful hopping ghost following me. Last night, I summoned a draugr! A DRAUGR, for Orcus' sake. Can you help me? Is it a pronunciation issue? I'm from Ontario originally, and I have a heavy accent. Please help! I feel like a total amateur.
Dear Draugr Rouser,
It’s most important that you understand the limits of your craft. There are, of course, talented necromancers who can approach a skeleton a century old and bind it with mage-bandages so that they can raise a mummy from it, but this is very much the act of a flashy and a wasteful man.
Remember, there are precious few liches who got their start in necromancy because they wanted something ostentatious and wasteful of the arcane energies that shield this world from the next (we call those people “illusionists”).1
The fact that you’ve raised an again-walker in this day and age probably just means you were trying to raise the corpse of someone very old and very norse. After all, the culture in which a body was raised has a huge influence on how easily they’re raised as different kinds of undead. Let’s be honest here, we’ve all wanted to raise a viking from time to time.2
I’m not going to tell you to settle for less, because everyone should aim high. There will come a day when you can walk into the mausoleum of the tomb kings, look to their mummified remains, and raise from them an apparently fresh zombie. In the meantime, don’t be afraid of feeling like an amateur; these things take time. Fortunately, as a liche, you’ll have plenty of time to hone your craft. In the meantime, just enjoy the occasional surprise.
1. Even then, we only call them ‘illusionists” in polite company. They are otherwise known as “gadabouts,” “charlatans,” and “wastrels.”
2. If so, don’t stress yourself. We’ve all been there. Unfortunately, we hit “peak viking” somewhere around the mid eighties. Ever since, it’s been more and more difficult to find viking remains that haven’t already been resurrected at least once or twice.
Anonymous said: Ever since my descent to lichdom,I've found that corpses near me seem to just animate themselves at random. Just the other week, I raised a former family member at her funeral! Do you have advice on how to stop this?
As it’s become less taboo to talk about these things over the years, many experienced necromancers are finding that they’re not alone in this issue. You might simply be walking through the park and all of a sudden there’s a skeletal arm thrust from the earth as its owner tries desperately to disinter themselves.
As the peasants run hither and thither, do you find yourself thinking,
Was that me? Have I reanimated something simply by walking past it? Oh, how embarrassing…
Premature reanimation is a serious problem that affects somewhere in the region of 30% of all liches. There is a good reason our predecessors dwelled in tombs and crypts far from other men. Haven’t you noticed that slow build up of necromantic tension when you’re far from the bodies of the recently deceased?
You must find an outlet for your roiling necromantic energies. If you can find no other corpses, practice by killing yourself and raising yourself from the dead a few times, just to take the edge off.